3 Secrets to Developing a Better Working Relationship With Your Boss
1. Demonstrate Your Innovation and Initiative
Every CEO or manager wants a company full of motivated and productive employees. Showing that you’re excited to take on on new projects will help both you and your boss be more successful.
If you work in an office where people are constantly pitching ideas for new products, services, projects, or process improvements, don’t be afraid to raise your hand and volunteer to take the initiative on something. If suggestions aren’t free flowing, keep a running list of your own ideas and offer them up at your monthly meetings with your boss.
Being innovative and taking initiative shows your manager that you’re invested in growing with the company, and that is bound to lead to a better working relationship between the two of you.
2. Strive for Open Communication
How many times have you told your boss that one of his ideas isn’t so great? It’s a scary conversation for any employee, but it’s an important one.
There have been a number of times that I’ve shared ideas with employees, and they’ve come back and suggested—politely of course—that my idea may not be the best route. The reason I don’t get upset is because, along with the rejection of my idea, they present a suggestion for something else. Or, better still, they consider how they can adapt my idea and make it work more effectively.
The key is to remember that you were hired because you have a specific set of skills that the company values and, often, can offer a different perspective than your boss can. Feeling comfortable enough to disagree with your boss and have an open line of communication will build a strong working relationship —one in which you know the best ideas will always rise to the top.
3. Be Yourself
You’ve probably heard some of your co-workers refer to their work wives or work husbands. It’s usually said in jest, but there’s some truth to the sentiment—many of us spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our actual families. And sometimes that commitment can cause friction at home or resentment at work. But unless your boss is famous psychic Theresa Caputo, he or she will have no idea that there’s an issue brewing in your personal life.
I would always rather have employees tell me when something at work or at home is affecting the rest of their lives than to wonder why their productivity has suddenly dipped or why they’ve developed a bad attitude.
So, if you’re a parent whose office hours are taking a toll on your family, propose a schedule that allows you to work from part-time Or, if you’re a part-time college student who needs some extra time off during finals week, see if there is a way to make up the time elsewhere in your schedule. Ask for what you need and be willing to compromise, and your relationship with your manager will be better for it.